Published: Tue, August 13, 2019

Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act

Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act

One person has been injured in a shooting inside a mosque in Norway and a man has been apprehended, police say.

The shooting happened Saturday at the al-Noor Islamic Centre near the Norwegian capital, when the suspect, a man in his 20s, burst through a glass door just after 4 p.m. and started firing, Oslo police official Rune Skjold told reporters. Investigators so far think no one else was involved in Saturday's violence at the mosque, located in the Oslo suburb of Baerum.

The suspect, whose home is near the mosque, had expressed far-right, anti-immigrant views before the attack, police said earlier.

When officers went to the shooting suspect's residence, they found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister, police said Sunday evening.

The man identified by media as 21-year old Philip Manshaus is formally suspected of murder in the death of his 17-year-old stepsister and of a "terrorist act" at the Al Noor mosque on Saturday, police said in a statement. The stifled attack was credited to the people inside the mosque who overpowered the gunman before police arrived. Mosque director said the victim is a 75-year-old member of the congregation. "I think it's a word-wide challenge in a sense", Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on August 11, referring to hate speech.

The suspect's lawyer, Unni Fries, said in a brief phone interview on Monday that she could not comment on the case.

There has been a recent spate of white nationalist attacks in the West, including in the United States and in New Zealand where 51 Muslim worshippers were killed in March at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

In a forum post online, the arrested gunman praised the man accused of the attack, Brenton Tarrant.

Oslo police wrote on Twitter: 'There has been a shooting episode inside the mosque'.

In a statement on Sunday, Oslo police said "the aggressor refused to give any statement to the police this night, but new questionings will be carried out".

"Muslims should be safe in our country and we want to show that they have support from the Norwegian government and, as I see it, the whole Norwegian people", Prime Minister Solberg said after attending an Eid Al-Adha celebration in the afternoon.

Eight years ago a Norwegian neo-Nazi murdered 77 people, first in Oslo and then at a summer youth camp run by the centre-left on the island of Utoeya.

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